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|Broadcast area||Netherlands (nationwide)|
|Slogan||"Music Starts Here" (2017–present)
"Dit is Nieuw" (2016–2017)
"Listen, Watch, Share.... 3fm.nl" (2014–2016)
"Serious Radio" (2003–2016)
"Als je van muziek houdt, dan luister je naar 3FM"
(If you love music, you listen to 3FM) (2002–2016)
|Format||Adult contemporary music (pop, rock, alternative)|
|Sister stations||NPO Radio 1
NPO Radio 2
NPO Radio 4
NPO Radio 5
NPO Soul & Jazz
Launching on 11 October 1965, NPO 3FM was created as Hilversum 3 (later Radio 3) by the Minister for Culture and Social Recreation, Maarten Vrolijk, to counterbalance the popular new offshore stations such as Radio Veronica.
Due to the nature of the Dutch public broadcasting system, with several broadcasters being awarded airtime based on the numbers of paying members they have, NPO 3FM hosts radio shows by different broadcasters. In the early days of the station, this led to a mixed bag of programs barely linked to each other. As an example, Christian broadcaster EO used to broadcast Christian-themed programs (including a request show with religious music), followed by the now legal Radio Veronica with a format based on Top 40-pop.
Up until the early 1990s, NPO 3FM (then known as Radio 3) did not have a horizontal radio format, with each public broadcaster filling one day a week. This prevented the station to gain a recognisable stature, although it was easily the most-listened to radio station in The Netherlands, aided by the fact that commercial terrestrial radio was illegal until the early 1990s.
The dawn of commercial competition and changing ideas about modern radio forced Radio 3 to overhaul its format drastically in 1992. First, three broadcasters (NCRV, KRO and AVRO) decided to join forces and introduced Het Station in January 1992, with a horizontal format for three days (Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays), with programs hosted by DJs from these three broadcasters. As from Monday 5th. October 1992, Radio 3 went horizontal completely, with each public broadcaster losing its own designated day but getting a fixed and daily time slot instead.
The rise of commercial radio at the beginning of the 1990s led to a decrease in audience. To avoid that, efforts were made to ensure Radio 3 had a clear identity, with the creation of a slogan (de jongste zender van Nederland, "the youngest channel in the Netherlands"), and a logo (a chick, to emphasize the concept of young). Furthermore, relatively unknown music was played between new and old old hits (sandwich formula), and more attention was paid to live music and pop festivals.
In January 1994, Radio 3 got full national FM coverage. To emphasize that, the name of the station was changed to Radio 3FM. However, the public pop-channel lost the number one position in audiences to Sky Radio in 1995.
In September 2003 Florent Luyckx was appointed as new channel coordinator. To refocus the station to its original target, the name of the station was shortened to "3FM", and a new logo in graffiti style was created, which was associated to the new slogan for the station: "Serious Radio". The idea was to focus the station more into music; therefore, a lot of controversial changes were done, causing a lot of presenters to leave the station. Although this gave opportunities to new young radio creators, the changes were not well-received by the audience.
Eventually the station recovered its audience, making it to the top 5 in the end of 2007 and becoming the first radio station in audience the Netherlands in november and december 2013. In 2007, 3FM won 4 Marconi Awards: Best Radio Station, Best Presenter (Giel Beelen), Best Program (GIEL), and Upcoming Talent (Domien Verschuuren). In 2009, 3FM was again nominated for a Marconi Award for best radio station. On December 2011 3FM won 3 Marconi Awards: Silver Radio Stars (Annemieke Schollaardt and Gerard Ekdom), The Golden Radio Ring (Ekstra Weekend), and the Marconi Talent Award (Sander Hoogendoorn).
In August 2014, the name of the stations was changed to "NPO 3FM", incorporating the public broadcaster; "NPO" name and logo.
In October 2015, NPO 3FM celebrated its 50th anniversary by broadcastin for four days live from the island of Pampus, including a special television program about the 50 years of 3FM on NPO 3, and organizing a concert evening in Paradiso. Arjan Snijders published a book entitled 50 jaar 3FM: van Vrolijke Puinhoop naar Serious Radio ("50 years of 3FM: from Merry Mess to Serious Radio").
On 7 November 2016, the schedule of 3FM was completely renewed, and only 3DJs kept their program at the same time. Furthermore, all program titles were replaced by the first names of the DJs (except for 3voor12Radio and the Mega Top 50). The slogan Serious Radio was removed after 13 years. Due to the many changes the listening figures dropped sharply. Currently, NPO 3FM is trying to halt the sharply declining listening figures since the end of 2015.
Starting in 1971, Hilversum 3 hosted its own hit parade: the Hilversum 3 Top 30, following the example set in 1965 by Radio Veronica and its own Top 40. The name and compiling methods of the Hilversum 3 chart changed several times. In the early 1970s it was known as either Hilversum 3 Top 30 and (from 1972) the Daverende Dertig ("Thundering Thirty"). In 1974 the name was changed into Nationale Hitparade, first a Top 30, later a Top 50 (1978–1986) and a Top 100 (1986–1992). In January 1993, the Nationale Hitparade was scrapped and replaced by an all new chart, the Mega Top 50. It is still broadcast every Saturday.
Unusually, Hilversum 3 used to have more than one pop chart between 1974 and 1992. While its official Nationale Hitparade chart – supported by most public broadcasters – was hosted by the NOS, Radio Veronica, once it received its legal status in May 1976, broadcast its own Top 40. Also, TROS introduced its own rival chart, TROS Top 50, in June 1978 (it had previously broadcast the Europarade, a top 30 of the biggest hits in a number of European countries). For many years, you could listen to three separate charts on Hilversum 3: the TROS Top 50 on Thursdays, Top 40 on Fridays and Nationale Hitparade on Sundays.
All this changed on 31 January 1993, when the Nationale Hitparade was discontinued (the TROS Top 50 had already been scrapped in November 1985), the Top 40 moved to Radio 538 and NPO 3FM started its new chart, the Mega Top 50.
3FM Serious Request
In 2004, the station begun a charity project by the name of Serious Request in which three DJs play requested songs for money for six days and nights in a glass house. They collect this money for projects of the Red Cross. The DJs don't eat during these days. Serious Request starts every year the week before Christmas.
Each year in March/April, 3FM hosts the 3FM awards, which are given to Dutch musicians. A public poll is held among listeners to determine the winners.
In 2010 3FM hosts the sixth edition of the 3FM Awards.
The artist with the most awards in 2009 is Ilse DeLange, she won three awards. She also won the Schaal van Rigter the award for the most played single on radio station 3FM, she won this award with the song "So Incredible".
Most of the DJs invite artists to perform live on air.
The band Yellow Pearl holds the all-time record of most live performances on 3FM. They did this 25 times, within four years in nine different shows. The first performance was in 2004 when they performed their single "For you and me" in the morning show of Rob Stenders.
- Luistercijfers november-december: 3FM nieuwe marktleider, Radiofreak.nl, 21 januari 2014
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